Crime

Police cite man who approached student at Gentry Middle School

Student said man tried to get him into his car

Man who approached CPS student arrested

COLUMBIA, Mo. - UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: The Columbia Police Department said it cited the man who approached a student in the Gentry Middle School parking lot.

According to a news release, Kelvin Joe, 53, of Columbia, went to the police department shortly after the interim police chief's news conference ended to speak with officers.

Police said he was cited for trespassing and driving while revoked and was then released from CPD. Joe was issued a no trespass warning, which prohibits him from being on Columbia Public School property, police said.

Police said while Joe's actions were reported as suspicious, officers do not think he was targeting children.

During the news conference, Columbia Police Interim Chief Geoff Jones said the department believed the same man acted suspiciously toward an adult at College Park Christian Academy Monday afternoon.

"We think there are other instances in which we think this individual has approached children specifically and acted in a matter which has caused concern for people in our community and we would like to talk to him," Jones said during the press conference.

ORGINAL: Columbia Public Schools officials are asking parents to be alert after a man possibly tried to kidnap a Gentry Middle School student Tuesday afternoon.

The incident happened at about 3:20 p.m. in front of the school, the district wrote in a letter to parents sent about an hour after the incident. The student reported the incident to a school administrator after the man asked the student to come to his car and tried to give the child money to entice him, the letter said. 

 

 

School officials said in the letter that they immediately contacted the Columbia Police Department. The student is safe and all district employees have been told about the incident, the letter said. School leaders said extra security measures are being taken. 

The video shows an black man in a blue shirt and dark pants trying to lure a child into a black four-door Mercedes sedan. CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said the man appears in the video to be in his 50s or 60s and has a salt-and-pepper trimmed beard. The car's front emblem also has black tape over it, she said.

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